A quick telephone intake helps me assess the dynamics going on that my services can readjust. Like a chiropractor, I go in and readjust. There is often quite a bit of doubt that yet another trainer/option can really help, and in as few as one long session, as the behaviors seem quite hopeless.
I frequently have the pleasure of driving north a wee bit to the neighboring county of Ashtabula where I’m getting lots of interesting clientele from Dr. Rebecca Salinger of Austinberg Veterinary Clinic. [The prevailing training sentiment in more rural Ashtabula is limited greatly to a traditional or force based you-do-it-or-else approach. Dr. Salinger and her clinic want to bring a better way to her neck of Northeast Ohio and it’s been a real treat and honor to be bringing a positive holistic approach to the area.]
One such trip out there was with a pair of very pleasant nice empty-nesters, S & J, who live in a very lovely, comfortable lake-front home along the shores of Lake Erie. H, a 4 year old intact Bearded Collie, had lived with this couple since a pup, but had escalated his fear based behaviors into ones that put both dog and owners, primarily S, at risk when he became overstimulated by triggers.
H had not been their first Bearded Collie, but he arrived to their home in the dead of winter at 7 weeks old. Because it is harder to socialize pups in the freezing, dark, snowy cold of a midwest winter, H led a very understimulated early puppy life coupled with a ton of affection from S no matter what he did, allowing his natural fear to be reinforced by the best of her intentions. He did attend a few dog shows, but showed NO interest in the ring. He clearly didn’t bond with J, and when S did leave the house and H was left behind, the shaggy dog would run upstairs, throw himself with a pout on the bed and wait amid her pillows until she returned.
When S wasn’t showering him with love she was struggling an with tension both figurative and, literally, with a leash and a rear attaching harness on walks in a nearby baseball field. The triggering event that led to my visit has been a dramatic reaction he had had while at the field to a flapping plastic bag. He knocked S off her feet, wriggled maniacally out of his harness and took off. He was eventually recaptured — but not without effort as his recall was most unreliable, especially when he was a bit flittery from scary things!
In my work with H, along with his eventual warming up to me after his initial bucking bronco sort of reaction when I attached him to me by a euroleash first thing, I saw he had a lot of triggers and he would escalate very quickly, like a Ferrari on a straightaway.
After H was responding quite well to my directions and finally seemed to understand I was either neutral or a very good thing to him, I fitted him first with a no pull harness and then, later, a medium Har-Vest. I have seen this now literally dozens of times — a dog who is previously completely unruly on rear attaching harnesses, collars, slip collars, choke chains, prong collars — seem to find the fitted effect and change of balance completely calming and suddenly walk with no effort. The degree varies but with H it dramatic.
Switching between the harness alone (essentially the skeleton to Har-Vest) and the Har-vest, we realized the Har-Vest had more benefit. Not only did it fit him even more securely (H is a very long haired Beardie), but we determined that 1/2 lb. of weight (rice or beans in a ziploc sandwich bag) in each pocket further “sedated” H and allowed for a calmer affect and a more soothing, confident, fun walk.
It’s hard to describe in words and is often something that has to be seen to be believed. Buy a Har-Vest for a 30 day risk free trial and see for yourself.